Privacy Concerns Lead to Ad-Blocking

As part of this week’s series looking at online privacy, today’s chart explores the use of ad-blockers as a privacy measure.

Our data shows that it’s now just over 4 in 10 internet users globally who employed an ad-blocker last month. Two thirds of these consumers say they worry about how companies are using their personal data, and 1 in 4 say that a main motivation for ad-blocking is because of a concern of how ads are compromising their privacy online.

There is still a disconnect between expressed attitudes and behavior here, something that is likely a result of widespread lack of understanding about how user behaviors can compromise privacy online, but also of being unaware that data is being collected. With tougher data protection regulations coming into place, like the GDPR in the EU, and stories of privacy breaches hitting the headlines, internet users are likely to only become more knowledgeable and proactive going forward.

From a regional perspective, it’s in the Middle East and Africa where these privacy conscious ad-blockers are most present, sitting at a high of 35% in Egypt. When we compare these ad-blockers across the generations, age is not visibly impacting this motivation, with figures hovering around the 25% mark. Although only slightly ahead, Millennial Ad-Blockers appear the most likely to be motivated to do so because of privacy concerns.

Ad-Blocker Users are defined as internet users aged 16-64 who used an ad-blocker last month.